Why Poor Appetite?

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One sure sign you are not well is when your appetite is not good. Look at the strong young people who eat a ton and stay fit. They are active, they work hard, and they are healthy. Look at the people in hospitals. Many nibble on their food without appetite. They are not picky eaters, they are just unable to eat. And their loved ones know it. I see people taking great pains to encourage the sick to eat more, eat better. And as they regain their strength, they keep doing the things that help them recover. And with recovery, the appetite improves.

This is also true of our spiritual appetite. If we nibble at the Word of God, we have no desire to read God’s Word, or to pray to him, these are sure signs that we are not in good spiritual health. We may be spiritually alive in Christ, but we may not be in a healthy state.

If the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and you have that unexplainable desire to draw closer to God, you are on the right track. You may feel like the patient in hospital who has just awaken from a coma. You are ready to have the feeding tube removed and ready to eat. But more likely than not, you will only manage a nibble. That’s ok! That’s good. That’s the place to start.

I once contracted gastroenteritis, a viral infection of the digestive system, and I could not keep any fluid in. If I drank, it would come back up or pass right through. I was fast becoming dehydrated. When I went to see the doc, he had no medicine for me. Instead, he asked me to do the simplest thing. I was to take a tablespoon of Gatorade (isotonic sports drink) every 10 minutes. After my body got used to this, I could take more. This simple treatment helped my body receive drink once more, and set me to the path of recovery. Of course, I could not stop at these tablespoons of Gatorade as though that was all there was to my recovery. It was a good start, it was a right start, but it was a start, not the end.

The normal child craves milk. Similarly, the healthy spiritual child wants to drink spiritual milk. “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,” (1 Peter 2:2).
While milk for the infant and nibbling for the sick are good things, we ought also to ask if we should be progressing to solid food. If we do not make the progress, then the milk is no longer a good thing. Some Christians were told, “though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” (Hebrews 5:11-12).

Some of us can only manage a nibble. Some others need to go beyond the nibble. A person who wants to recover from an illness may nibble at this food, but the goal is to become healthy with a matching appetite.

If you are stuck on your spiritual growth, the first thing you need to ask is whether it is due to your limited feeding. If you are not consuming enough spiritual calories, you cannot have great spiritual exertions, spiritual success, or experience spiritual struggle and victory. Spiritual feeding and spiritual growth are directly related. Solid spiritual food is your deep daily reading of God’s word. This will feed your soul even more than the Sunday sermon. This will energize you to exert yourself for God, and grow strong.

There are so many Bible reading programs using so many different Bible versions in our smart phone. We are spoilt for choice! “Bible” or “You Version” Holy Bible(it’s the same thing) has more options than you can use! They have reading programs according to themes, reminders, Christian movies, etc. The danger is you want to check so many out that you don’t use any. So just pick one and start. The icon at right is the “Bible” phone app recommended here.

Of course, use a hard copy Bible or any medium you want. So long as you read the Bible, you are feeding and growing.

Pastor Peter Eng

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